“…and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” John 10:4 Sometimes I hear a voice speaking to my heart, telling me what to do. If it’s in line with God’s Word, I know it’s from Him. If not, it isn’t. Sometimes I sense His Spirit giving me a message. It grows. Stronger. Sometimes a scripture lifts up off the page as though it’s being emphatically highlighted with a bright marker. God speaks to His people. It’s Christ’s followers job to listen. Hear. Obey. Follow. Sometimes we’re too busy. Distracted. Tied up. Focused on other things. On us. On the world. Other voices. People’s voices. The voice of self. Of Satan. Or we don’t believe we can hear from Him though the Bible says we can. We need…

  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Romans 12:1 How comfortable was Jesus? And His disciples? The apostles? His followers in Bible times? His followers now? Does Jesus promise His followers we’ll always be comfortable? He promises His followers the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, but not that we’ll always be comfortable. In fact, we may be everything but. Does He not call us to leave our comfort behind? Isn’t denying ourselves and taking up our crosses (Mt. 16:24), as He calls His followers to do, synonymous with being willing to abandon our comfort? Does He want us to make our decisions and take our actions and live our lives…

 “Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.” Deut. 13:4 No matter how different we humans look on the outside, no matter how different the stories and details of our lives, some things we plain have in common. Like the fact we tend to cling and cleave to what and whom we believe matters most in our lives, and to have great difficulty letting that go or losing it or when circumstances change such that we can no longer have, own, possess, enjoy, experience, use, etc. what that thing or person is. We humans pretty much hold onto stuff as soon as we come tumbling out as newborns into this…

   “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14 Ever been so thirsty you can’t imagine going another second without something to quench your thirst? We humans spend most of our lives trying to quench and satisfy our physical needs and desires, don’t we? When we’re born, we reach for the breast to nurse. Then baby food. Then solid. We’re thirsty; we crave water. Then other drinks. As soon as we have a desire for something, or someone, to make us feel good, to feel better, to be okay, to make us happy, to help us, etc., we want to go…

“The Son of Man shall send out His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who do evil, 42 and will throw them into a fiery furnace. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun[f] in the kingdom of their Father.” Mt. 13:41-43 Ready for the five reasons I write about hell? Because it’s real Because some people will spend forever apart from God in eternal torment in hell and the lake of fire Because I love the Lord more than anything or anyone in the universe Because I love people including you Because if I really love God and I really love people including you, then I’m going to help people…

“And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God.” Luke 18:43     Approaching 3:30 am. Another wake-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night time with the Lord. I could have really used the sleep. I was in a season of rest and preparation according to God. There I was again, so needing more sleep, but too awake to crawl back into bed yet. I ended up studying and writing. Then came the voice. God’s. Speaking to my heart. I was not all awake, not all asleep. Awake enough to hear Him. “What did the two men have in common?” I heard God’s Spirit ask. Huh? God? The two men? The two men I had just read about in His Word in Luke 18. The rich man who wouldn’t give up his riches to be…

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 The man in the hospital bed with the tube in his nose, his own private room overlooking a little slice of the small but robust well known southern city, reached out his hand to me as soon as I had finished saying what was heavy on my heart. This wasn’t just a random person I was visiting in the hospital. This was someone I loved dearly. Someone who had spent more time in hospitals through the years than anyone I had ever known. This time around, his life was not at stake as it had been so many times before. Nevertheless, he was…

  “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.” Psalm 5:11 KJV “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” Psalm 5: NLT     Please look carefully at the scriptures above. There’s something missing. Can you see it? Okay, you can’t see it, can you? Please look again. Go slowly. Can you find it? Of course not! It’s not there! I picked the same verse from two different translations, translations considered very different than one another. They both say the same thing,…

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again–rejoice!” Phil. 4:4 NLT     Save me! I’m in the wilderness! Ever heard of people stuck in horribly dangerous, deadly situations in the wilderness who do everything they can to be rescued? They scream, cry, use cell phone with dying batteries, send smoke signals, wave their arms to passing planes, do anything they can because supplies are running short, their bodies are injured from disasters they’ve endured, they’re in pain, hurting, hungry, thirsty, scared, desperate, uncomfortable, isolated from other people, they miss their loved ones, they want to return to their usual lives, they’re frantic, exhausted, uncomfortable, crying out for rescue! Get me out of the wilderness! Sometimes God leads His followers into the wilderness for various  reasons. To…

“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” Eph. 1:5-6 Oh, how exciting it was as a child to learn about the Guinness Book of World’s Records! Talk about a challenge! Oh, sure, reading bits and pieces out of the book or learning about different people who had made it in there for various feats was exciting. But nothing was more exhilarating than imagining somehow I could make it in there. My fantasies about this were short-lived; clearly countless people had real reasons to make it into the book. Sigh. But wait. In retrospect I realize maybe I could…

“I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.” Psalm 57:9 When Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York, contacted one of his congregation to comfort her following her husband’s tragic death when the World Trade Center towers went down as a result of the heinous terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, he was surprised to hear what she had to say. I wasn’t just surprised when I read this testimony in his book, “Breakthrough Prayer” on pages 223-224 (Zondervan 2003). I was deeply moved – and convicted. Not for the first time. Nor most assuredly for the last. For God has been working on my heart greatly for some time now when it comes to complaining,…

“And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” Genesis 6:6 Just when I thought I had seen it all, I should have known better. There is never an end to how we humans must grieve God’s heart, is there? Oh, if only we could say it’s only the unbelievers, those who don’t believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who offend the Lord. But oh, how grievous that so many of us who profess to know the Lord are running around our lives doing stuff that I can only imagine must make God shed tears like rain from heaven. Myself included. Are any of us as fallible humans, as God’s imperfect Creation, ever immune from hurting God while…

    “Abide in me, and I in you…” John 15:4     “…in thy presence is fulness of joy;…” Psalm 16:11 Nearly 25 years sober, I recall my drinking days so clearly. I didn’t bar hop just to quench my alcoholic thirst. I couldn’t stay still. Whatever bar I was in, I worried maybe there was another bar with more to offer. Shouldn’t I be there? Restless. Always moving. To the next drink. Next man. Next bar. To get somewhere I could never find. To something I could never name. Whenever I got “there”, to whatever or whomever “it” was, I was dissatisfied. Not still. Still restless. How could I ever arrive wherever “there” was? Now that I follow sweet Jesus, I still struggle. Sure, the words have changed. Not…

   “And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said…

   “And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God:…” Luke 18:43    “So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.” Mt. 20:34    “And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.” Mark 1:31    “And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” Lk. 13:12-13    “And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit…

 “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians 6:16 Little did a sweet friend know when she shared how she felt paralyzed by feelings of fear how riddled my own life has been with fear – even as a devoted Christ follower. But unlike my friend who described herself as paralyzed with fear, I have had a vastly different experience. Instead of feeling paralyzed by fear, stuck in place, and unable to move, I have found time and again I tend to rush high speed ahead in a zillion impulsive directions with a zillion impulsive actions with a zillion convictions and justifications that of course I have to zoom ahead at a record-breaking pace to get…

“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.”  Psalm 34:3 No matter how much I’ve studied the Bible, never have I found  anything leading me to believe God’s greatest command to love Him with all our hearts (Mark 12:30) comes with a set formula. Never have I seen Him mention a calendar, schedule, protocol, agenda, long-term or short-term plan, exact number of hours, minutes, seconds per day to spend with Him, checklist, compartment of our lives in which to keep Him, compartments of our lives to keep Him out of, checklist, template, or formula. Yet how many who profess to love the Lord have done this, if we profess to love Him at all? Is it possible those of us who have fallen into trying…

“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” John 7:37     “Look buddy, you need to make a decision,” I said as best I can recall once I had sat down on the old towel thrown over my raggedy driver’s seat of my ancient Honda Element car. I suppose those of us who live single and have spent what seems like ages speaking to the Lord aloud not to mention to our countless dogs as I have over the years shouldn’t surprise anyone when we reveal a conversation, albeit one-sided, I had one surprisingly hot and gorgeous January South Carolina day – with a gecko. “You’re all dried up here,” I told the little lizard-y gecko that sat atop my dashboard. “You need to get out of…

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thess. 3:16 One day in the bathtub of all places as I prayed briefly for a beloved friend and considered her ongoing struggle with worry which in my own experience has been a sidekick that has rarely left my side for a long as I can remember no matter how many times I have repented of it, sought the Lord’s forgiveness, and striven to walk by faith rather than by fear, some wisdom from above fell swiftly and confidently into my heart. The bath ended abruptly as I knew I needed to get to my computer for the message God’s Spirit was laying sweetly upon my heart.…

Do you Want to Please God? “Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” 1 Thess. 4:1 Are you pleasing God? Do you want to please God? How can you say you love God but not want to please Him? Or do you not love Him? If you know God intimately, personally, up close, ever growing closer to Him, I daresay you cannot not love God. You would love Him undoubtedly. You would love Him abundantly. You would love Him beyond measure. You would love Him increasingly. For the more you knew Him, the more you know Him, the more you will…

   “Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:2-3……///…..“Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.” Luke 18:19 See that sinner over there? You know the one? Over there. Yeah, look in that direction. You know the one. Doing you know what. Shhh. Don’t say it aloud. It’s disgusting. Talk about sin. Talk about despicable sin. Wickedness. Awful. An abomination. Now that’s sin if you’ve ever seen it, isn’t it? Good thing you’ve got your life together. That you don’t do what that person’s doing. Talk about a reality check that you’ve got your life in order.…

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9 Ever feel inadequate? Dictionary.com uses these as synonyms of inadequate. Inapt, incompetent, defective, imperfect, incomplete. Sometimes I feel so inadequate it’s a wonder I get up in the morning to face the day. Other times, I feel inadequate to less of an extreme. But inadequacy has been my sidekick for as long as I remember. Constant, grueling rejection through the years, coupled with feeling like a miserable failure when it comes to the world’s standards and expectations, lends itself to a pretty much perpetual sense of blatant inadequacy. If you suffer like I do from feeling inadequate, whether somewhat or to an extreme like me, I have good news for you. In the…

 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 “Did I get in front of you?” I asked a kind-looking, burly man who had quietly joined the growing line of customers at a local thrift shop just after the holidays. Busy. Busier than I had ever seen the store in fact. I don’t know why I figured post-holiday shopping would mean less of a line, less crowds, less waiting, and less need for more patience. “I think you may have been in front of me.” “No, I have all the time in the world,” the man responded politely. “Patience. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit,” I replied. “And I need a heck of…

As the year wraps up, just a gentle, loving reminder that DONATIONS are always a true blessing for which I can never thank God enough for those He sends to give of their hearts, love, prayers, time, support, encouragement, and, yes, financial donations. Just over the past few weeks, costs for the special needs & senior rescued will have totaled between $1000 and $1500. Additionally, my free Gospel tracts & devotionals go out regularly via streets ministry, to the homeless, to others in dire straits with dire needs, & to three prisons in the Southeast, as well as to wherever requests come in by others who are led to distribute them. My books are also given for a donation of any amount, and usually are distributed at no cost via streets…

“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42 The life I live now is not the one I wanted. Far from it. So far from what I desired for my adult life that it’s hard to recognize this life belongs to me at all. But then, the truth is that it doesn’t. My life is not mine, which is why it is nothing like the life I dreamed of for myself. My life is Christ’s. It is His alone. He my beloved asked me to be willing to lose my life (Mt. 16:25). To give it up. To give it to Him. For He bought me, purchased me, redeemed me, rescued me, ransomed me – to belong to…

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”  1 John 5:4-5 When a dear woman reached out to me and shared her aspiration to live the “victorious life,” for the first time in all the years hearing those words I stopped to think about it. Having come out from under, delivered by God’s grace alone to be most precise, the rampant false teaching that riddles our world, I was introduced to the concept of the “victorious life” in a very simple, straightforward, emphatic manner. The life of victory in Christ, I was taught, is about living a happy, healthy, prosperous,…

Suffering Loss? Lost Your Compass?  “…I am the way, the truth, and the life…” John 14:6 One night I was sitting with the Bible atop my little bed with one of my numerous dogs squished up right by my side thinking about a friend of mine who had recently lost someone very close to him and only a short while after learned another loved one had what appeared to be a terminal disease. In reflecting on what he was going through, and how committed I was in my heart to be there for him in any way I could most importantly to be used by God that God might draw him to repentance and salvation through Christ so he would have a forever relationship with God not to mention the…

“Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;…” Isaiah 33:17 “This life is hard, God,” I told the Lord as I sat on my bed beside my sweet dying dog Speckles. “But you are so beautiful.” Quickly, I moved to my computer. I knew I had something vital to write. About the hardships of life. And God’s beauty. See, it wasn’t so very long ago amid a decades-long history of trial upon trial, upon what for me has been extraordinarily hard though in the grand scheme of the world’s woes has in reality been absolutely thoroughly nothing compared with the hardships of countless others, that I would have sat staring at the hardship – and not gone any further. If the truth be known, like so many other humans…

   “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2 ///    “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” 1 Cor. 15:1 ///   “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” 1 Cor. 16:13 /// “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” 2Co_1:24 /// “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Gal. 5:1 /// “Only let your conversation be as it becometh the…

Hi Everyone,  My sweet dog Speckles whom I’ve had for years after she was rescued from euthanization at a rural Ohio shelter where she was left by a couple when they broke up was diagnosed with cancer less than 2 weeks ago and is going very rapidly downhill. While I would love immeasurably to have her for much more time, I am electing to not do aggressive treatment but instead to focus on quality of life and leave her in the Lord’s hands. She is about 14, and to put her through extreme measures after she has had a wonderful life years past what she would have had I believe would not be right. This is a big, hard loss. I am beyond maxed out at the same time with Esther…

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